Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

October 27, 2003

Archbishop Gilbert McDowell, 66, the leader of the traditionalist United Anglican Church, died Friday in Rome after attending 25th anniversary celebrations for Pope John Paul II.

The United Anglican Church is not in communion with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of most of the world's Anglicans. It is among the conservative groups that 30 years ago cut ties with the Anglican Communion's American branch, the Episcopal Church, feeling it was becoming too liberal.

His death comes as further rifts appear in the Anglican Church over the planned consecration of an openly gay bishop. Under Archbishop McDowell, the College of Bishops of the United Anglican Church issued a statement in August opposing the recognition of homosexual unions and the idea of allowing gay men to be deacons, priests or bishops. He had been working on rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church, and had visited the Vatican several times to discuss the matter.

William Goldberg, 77, a leader of Manhattan's diamond district known both for dealing in some of the biggest diamonds sold in modern times and for trying to lift his industry's historic veil of secrecy, died of pancreatic cancer Oct. 20 in Manhattan.

In 1990, Modern Jeweler magazine said Goldberg was the first gem dealer to find fame while remaining part of 47th Street, as the diamond-littered blocklong stretch on the West Side is internationally known.

The magazine said that industry giants such as Harry Winston and Lazare Kaplan either bypassed the street or rose above it. Mr. Goldberg not only stayed but also served three terms as president of the Diamond Dealers Club, where billions of dollars worth of diamonds are exchanged every year on the strength of a handshake and the Yiddish expression mazel und brucha, meaning "luck and a blessing."

Among the diamonds he dealt in was a 353.9-carat rough diamond he picked off a conveyor belt at a South African mine. It was cut into three flawless diamonds, including a 137-carat pear-shaped gem known as the Premier Rose, which sold in 1989 for $10 million, a price many believe was the most ever paid for a diamond.

Mr. Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, where his parents owned a candy store. His mother wanted him to become a rabbi but paid the $250 fee for him to become an apprentice diamond cutter while he attended City College of New York.

Don Evans, 65, a playwright of the African-American experience, about which he also taught at the College of New Jersey for 30 years, died of a heart attack Oct. 16 at his home in Merchantville, N.J.

A member of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and '70s, Mr. Evans had his plays performed on campuses, where he often directed, and in repertory theaters in the United States and Europe.

His best-known works include It's Showdown Time, a ribald contemporary version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, and One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, a comedic spoof of a middle-class black family, with a serious undercurrent.

Judy Hendren Mello, 60, former president and chief executive of the First Women's Bank in Manhattan, died in New York on Oct. 20 of complications of ovarian cancer.

She ran the bank from 1980 to 1983. Founded in 1975, it was the first bank in the United States to be operated by women and for women, at a time when its founders said that women were given short shrift by other banks. Some time after she stepped down, the bank was sold, its name was changed and it subsequently failed.

From 1991 to 1998 she was president and owner of the J.H. Mello Co., an investment banking and consulting business, which became known as the Mello Corp. in the mid-1990s. She then became president and chief executive of World Learning Inc., a nonprofit with programs in 110 countries.

Abraham A. "Abe" Michelson, 86, a syndicated columnist and longtime statehouse reporter for The Berkshire Eagle in his native Pittsfield, Mass., died Thursday in Lenox, Mass. His syndicated column, "Beacon Hill Weekly," was carried in The Boston Globe and seven other Massachusetts newspapers.

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